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Local Youngsters Receive Cyber Training

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Over 60 Year 8 and 9 students from across Herefordshire and Worcestershire were present at the University of Worcester Arena earlier this month to learn more about cyber security.

The University staged the event as part of its regional partnership with STEMNET – an organisation funded by BIS (the Government’s Department for Business, Innovation and Skills) which aims to create opportunities to inspire young people in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM).

As the local contract holder, the University of Worcester works primarily with schools and colleges in the two counties to help young people and their teachers access a range of STEM Enhancement and Enrichment opportunities.

STEMNET IT project manager, Debbie Tunstall, explains: “We have 340 STEM ambassadors in the two counties, who are business volunteers that work to support young people with curriculum enhancement and career options around the STEM subjects.”

Of last week’s event, which saw pupils from six schools take part in challenges and activities relating to cyber security, she adds: “This was the first event we have staged on cyber, and we did this in partnership with QinetiQ and e-skills (the national body for IT), and supported by local ambassadors from Hewlett Packard and Key IQ.”

STEM Ambassador Chris Clinton, from QinetiQ, explains: “QinetiQ is proud to support STEM activities as it is vitally important to encourage the younger generations into careers in Science, Engineering, Technology and Maths to ensure the UK is best placed to face the demands of a modern, technological work place.

“As a founding sponsor of the Cyber Security Challenge and in particular the Cyber Security Schools Challenge, QinetiQ is helping to inspire school children to pursue a career in Cyber Security in order to build a future workforce capable of countering the ever increasing cyber threat and ensuring the prosperity and security of the country. “

Debbie Tunstall added: “The event was a great success and the feedback we had from pupils was excellent. Representatives from e-skills were on hand to gather information from the students, and we will be looking to further enhance our working relationship with e-skills as they continue to develop cyber related materials that all schools can use.

“We couldn’t run any of these activities however without our STEM ambassadors, from whom we receive great support.”

If you would like to become a STEM ambassador or know more about what this entails, please contact Debbie Tunstall on 01905 542576 or email ambassadors@worc.ac.uk.